26.2 Marathon Stories - A Running book by Kathrine Switzer & Roger Robinson
26.2 Marathon Stories is not just another running book.
Posted Sunday, 4 June, 2006
It should be assigned a special place on every runner’s coffee table where it can be picked up again and again. It is not a book that demands you read all at once from cover to cover but should be savored in small portions like a delicious gourmet meal. But don’t be surprised if you can’t put it down until you have savored each one of the 26.2 chapters.
I must confess, when I sat down to read “26.2” I was expecting to plough through chapters of training programs, diets, stretches, clothing and injury prevention with loads of technical language that only a runner can comprehend. I have eagerly devoured many books of this nature, an essential part of every runner’s library. “26.2" is not such a book.
This is not a ‘runners only’ book. It is a perfect gift for non-running friends or loved ones. All runners at some time or other have been bombarded with questions about their strange marathon pursuits. It will help the un-initiated to understand what it is that motivates the runner to put in the hours of training and run the 26.2 miles to glory, sometimes in intense pain and discomfort. There is a worldwide curiosity about the history, the distance (why 26.2 miles?), the preparation of mind and body and what it is about the marathon that unites so many people from such different backgrounds, religions and cultures. Kathrine and Roger have managed to put it all into 26.2 chapters. It covers the history of the race, the mental and physical challenges, the contrasts (from desert to mountain to the Antarctic, from unbearable heat to below freezing temperatures) and the diversity of cultures all sharing one goal, to reach the finish line.
The accompanying photography for each of the 26.2 chapters is stunning and captures all aspects of the marathon from ancient times to present day, from start to finish line. It captures the joy of running on some of the most scenic courses in the world and gives a glimpse of the Rift Valley which has given the world so many talented runners.
As a female reader, I especially enjoyed the personal account of Kathrine Switzer and the ‘marathon battle’ for woman to prove their ability and right to run in the most prestigious race in the world of running.
As Emil Zatopek once said, “If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience another life, run a marathon”. If you want to truly experience the marathon in all it’s glory, take ‘a run’ with Kathrine and Roger through their “26.2 Marathon Stories”.
The book is now available in all major book stores and through www.amazon.com.